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Observational learning and pain-related fear: exploring contingency learning in an experimental study using colored warm water immersions.
J Pain. 2013 Jul; 14(7):676-88.JP

Abstract

This study investigated observational learning of pain-related fear and subsequent extinction after first-hand exposure to the feared stimulus. Moreover, the specific contingencies that are learned when observing others in pain were explored. A differential fear-conditioning paradigm was used, showing video models displaying either a painful (CS+ color; aversively conditioned stimulus) or a neutral (CS- color; neutrally conditioned stimulus) facial expression in the presence of a colored warm water task (WWT; observation phase). In 1 condition (open WWT cover), the model's hand was immersed in the colored liquid, while in the other condition (closed WWT cover), no contact was displayed between the model and the liquid. During exposure, participants subsequently immersed their own hand into each WWT with equal temperatures. Results revealed successful acquisition of pain-related fear. Participants with higher levels of pain catastrophizing, intolerance of uncertainty, trait fear of pain, or dispositional empathy were more prone to develop pain-related fear. Pain-related fear extinguished quickly after direct exposure to both WWTs. Contingencies between the color of the WWT and either the painful facial expressions or the assumed properties of the colored liquid were learned in both conditions. Clinical implications and limitations of the current study are discussed, providing avenues for future research in observational learning of pain-related fear.

PERSPECTIVE

Pain-related fear promotes the development as well as the continuation of chronic pain. A better understanding of the acquisition and extinction of this fear may help to improve pain treatment programs. Furthermore, we intended to identify individuals who are more prone to develop pain-related fear.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Research Group on Health Psychology, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium. kim_helsen@hotmail.comNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

23582378

Citation

Helsen, Kim, et al. "Observational Learning and Pain-related Fear: Exploring Contingency Learning in an Experimental Study Using Colored Warm Water Immersions." The Journal of Pain : Official Journal of the American Pain Society, vol. 14, no. 7, 2013, pp. 676-88.
Helsen K, Goubert L, Vlaeyen JW. Observational learning and pain-related fear: exploring contingency learning in an experimental study using colored warm water immersions. J Pain. 2013;14(7):676-88.
Helsen, K., Goubert, L., & Vlaeyen, J. W. (2013). Observational learning and pain-related fear: exploring contingency learning in an experimental study using colored warm water immersions. The Journal of Pain : Official Journal of the American Pain Society, 14(7), 676-88. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpain.2013.01.771
Helsen K, Goubert L, Vlaeyen JW. Observational Learning and Pain-related Fear: Exploring Contingency Learning in an Experimental Study Using Colored Warm Water Immersions. J Pain. 2013;14(7):676-88. PubMed PMID: 23582378.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Observational learning and pain-related fear: exploring contingency learning in an experimental study using colored warm water immersions. AU - Helsen,Kim, AU - Goubert,Liesbet, AU - Vlaeyen,Johan W S, Y1 - 2013/04/11/ PY - 2012/09/25/received PY - 2013/01/09/revised PY - 2013/01/29/accepted PY - 2013/4/16/entrez PY - 2013/4/16/pubmed PY - 2014/3/7/medline SP - 676 EP - 88 JF - The journal of pain : official journal of the American Pain Society JO - J Pain VL - 14 IS - 7 N2 - UNLABELLED: This study investigated observational learning of pain-related fear and subsequent extinction after first-hand exposure to the feared stimulus. Moreover, the specific contingencies that are learned when observing others in pain were explored. A differential fear-conditioning paradigm was used, showing video models displaying either a painful (CS+ color; aversively conditioned stimulus) or a neutral (CS- color; neutrally conditioned stimulus) facial expression in the presence of a colored warm water task (WWT; observation phase). In 1 condition (open WWT cover), the model's hand was immersed in the colored liquid, while in the other condition (closed WWT cover), no contact was displayed between the model and the liquid. During exposure, participants subsequently immersed their own hand into each WWT with equal temperatures. Results revealed successful acquisition of pain-related fear. Participants with higher levels of pain catastrophizing, intolerance of uncertainty, trait fear of pain, or dispositional empathy were more prone to develop pain-related fear. Pain-related fear extinguished quickly after direct exposure to both WWTs. Contingencies between the color of the WWT and either the painful facial expressions or the assumed properties of the colored liquid were learned in both conditions. Clinical implications and limitations of the current study are discussed, providing avenues for future research in observational learning of pain-related fear. PERSPECTIVE: Pain-related fear promotes the development as well as the continuation of chronic pain. A better understanding of the acquisition and extinction of this fear may help to improve pain treatment programs. Furthermore, we intended to identify individuals who are more prone to develop pain-related fear. SN - 1528-8447 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/23582378/Observational_learning_and_pain_related_fear:_exploring_contingency_learning_in_an_experimental_study_using_colored_warm_water_immersions_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1526-5900(13)00809-2 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -